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Discounted parking plan on hold in La Jolla, meeting coming to determine next steps

The La Jolla Coastal Access & Parking Board has hit another snag in its longtime goal of improving access and parking in The Village.

The local board that manages the La Jolla Coastal Access & Parking Fund has a two-fold goal — the implementation of a shuttle system to move people throughout The Village and remote parking reservoir, and implementing other short-term or long-term parking solutions for The Village.

However, the first goal has been stymied for years after the board determined a shuttle system is not sustainable, and an alternative has yet to be agreed upon; and the second was recently dissolved.

The La Jolla Coastal Access & Parking Fund was established through Coastal Commission-required contributions by office-space developers in the 1970s and ’80s. As of early 2018, there was more than $380,000 in the account.

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The short-term parking solution that was implemented to meet these terms was acquiring monthly parking passes for La Jolla’s private parking lots and underground garages and reselling them at a discount to employers and individuals.

This program was managed by former La Jolla Village Merchants Association (LJVMA) executive director Sheila Fortune since 2010.

She stepped down in October 2018 and the board then hired its current executive director, Jodi Rudick. The City contracts directly with LJVMA who, in turn, administers the La Jolla Coastal Access & Parking program through the La Jolla Coastal Access & Parking Board.

“A contract between the City and the LJVMA to operate the program, which is normally executed annually, for Fiscal Year 2019 has not been executed, primarily due to turnover in LJVMA staff and board leadership,” said City spokesperson Anna Vacchi. “Additionally, parking space availability in parking structures previously dedicated to the discounted parking program is no longer available.

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“The City is open to and in active discussion with LJVMA regarding implementing a similar program for Fiscal Year 2020.”

At the March 13 LJVMA meeting, Rudick explained there was a meeting in the works to determine what the next steps for the program would be, and because LJVMA holds three seats on the Coastal Access & Parking Board, appointed two members and an alternate: Rudick, Robert Mackey and alternative Max Shenk.

The meeting was not set by press time.

In the meantime, the LJVMA parking task force has contracted with Ace Mobility Solutions for five hours of pro bono work per month to review problems in The Village for idea generation to solve Village parking woes. Ace parking commercial division director of operations, Brad Elsass, will conduct the work and report back to the board at future LJVMA meetings.

And while the communication between LJVMA and the City has decreased in recent years as it pertains to the Coastal Access & Parking Fund, Vacchi said the City is committed to the success of the program.

“Communication (with LJVMA) is increasing now, which should result in improved services,” she said. “The City is open to discussion regarding operating a remote shuttle and short-term parking projects as part of a successful La Jolla Coastal Access & Parking program and to meet obligations outlined in the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the City and the California Coastal Commission (that governs the board).”

Progress on the other part of the program — the shuttle system — has ebbed and flowed in recent years. The MOU calls for the creation of a shuttle dedicated to transporting people around The Village, and an off-site reservoir to house the shuttle.

After the board determined the shuttle system was not sustainable, it dedicated meetings in 2013-2015 to brainstorming alternatives, so the money could be used in accordance with the terms of the MOU, but with longevity. However, California Coastal Commission representatives were not satisfied with any of the suggested solutions that were posed. As such, meetings slowed to their current, sporadic state. <end_bug_diamond>

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—Learn more at lajollacpa.org/cap.html


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